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Under the work-study-play plan.-An expenditure of $2,501,000 would give the following results:
1. Five new buildings of the most modern type could be erected one for Cummings and Lauderdale, one for Peabody, one for Idlewild, Lenox, and Madison Heights; one for La Rose and Kortrecht High School (colored), and one for Virginia Avenue (colored).
2. Immediate relief could be given to the children in 8 of the 13 most congested schools. By reorganizing these schools on the workstudy-play plan and by using modern movable buildings until the new buildings for these schools can be erected, all the children in the eight schools could be given not only classroom accommodations for the regular amount of time in academic work, but also opportunity every day for work in such special activities as shops, nature-study rooms, gymnasiums, auditoriums, and playgrounds.
3. A permanent annex to Bruce could be erected immediately which, with the main building, would accommodate a 24-class school. An addition could be erected at Maury which, with the main building, would take care of both Maury and Madison Heights,
4. Additional shops could be provided for the Vocational School.
5. Fifty thousand dollars could be expended in general repairs to all buildings.
To sum up: As was pointed out, there are now 9,433 children in the 13 most congested schools in the city, 3,718 of whom are at present in excess of the seating capacity of the schools. But the organization of these schools under the work-study-play plan will do more than relieve congestion. It will give not only classroom accommodations for the full amount of time for academic work, but it will also give to all the children in the schools an opportunity for play every day in well-equipped playgrounds and gymnasiums, and an opportunity for work in well-equipped shops, laboratories, drawing and music studios, libraries, cooking rooms, or any other special activities desired by the community and school authorities.
Moreover, by lengthening the school day this plan eliminates the street time of the child and keeps him wholesomely busy at work, study, and play. It also makes possible a better cooperation between the school and other child-welfare agencies. For example, the work in the library can be part of the regular school work, so that the excellent work already being done by the Memphis libraries in cooperation with the schools can be enlarged and extended. Again, as this plan provides for playgrounds in connection with each school, and as these playgrounds are in use every hour of the day, under the supervision of trained playground instructors, it is not necessary for the city to support separate playgrounds, as is usually the case. Moreover, the playgounds are used more because they become the natural recreation centers for the children and the adults of the neighborhood.
The work-study-play plan, though not the traditional school plan, has had sufficient trial to show that it is sound not only from an economical but from an educational standpoint. Since under the present plan of school organization it would cost $3,500,000 for the city of Memphis to meet its school congestion problem without providing for the modern educational facilities, whereas the expenditure of $2,501,000 under the work-study-play plan would not only solve the present congestion problem, but provide modern educational facilities and a far richer school life for the children than is possible under the former plan, it would seem obvious that the work-studyplay plan is the best solution of the school problem of Memphis. It is therefore recommended that the 13 most congested schools in the city be reorganized on this plan, not only as a means of relieving congestion, but of giving an enriched education to the children of Memphis.